• DTS.USA
    5.782
    -0.006
    -0.1%
  • NTI.USA
    2.890
    0.010
    0.3%
  • NTID.USA
    2.940
    -0.010
    -0.3%
  • NTIDL.USA
    2.050
    0.000
    0%
  • OTRI.USA
    7.980
    -0.120
    -1.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,941.150
    228.800
    1.8%
  • DTS.USA
    5.782
    -0.006
    -0.1%
  • NTI.USA
    2.890
    0.010
    0.3%
  • NTID.USA
    2.940
    -0.010
    -0.3%
  • NTIDL.USA
    2.050
    0.000
    0%
  • OTRI.USA
    7.980
    -0.120
    -1.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,941.150
    228.800
    1.8%
Air CargoAmerican ShipperNews

EgyptAir orders cargo conversion for 737-800 passenger jet

Middle East carrier intends to keep growing small freighter fleet

EgyptAir plans to add the first standard-size cargo jet to its fleet early next year after signing an agreement with Aeronautical Engineers Inc. to reconfigure a used 737-800 passenger plane for dedicated cargo service.

Miami-based AEI said Monday that modification work will begin in October at authorized conversion center Commercial Jet, also in Miami. EgyptAir will own the plane and send it to Miami for installation of a wide cargo door, reinforced flooring and a cargo handling system, and other changes to enable container storage on the upper deck.

EgyptAir’s cargo operations have grown during the COVID crisis. It has started new routes to accommodate the need to transport medical items and agricultural products. 

EgyptAir owns and operates three Airbus A330-200 freighters, each with a payload capacity of 60 tons. 

“This order is part of EgyptAir’s cargo and passenger fleet modernization plan,” said Chairman and CEO Amr Abu El-Enein in a news release. “We will continue to increase the size of our fleet and open new freighter markets in the coming years to meet the growing needs of the local market in terms of exporting goods abroad, especially crops.”

AEI’s 737-800 conversion design offers a main deck payload of up to 26 tons, with 11 full-height container positions plus an additional position for a small container. Conversions take three to four months, depending on which overhaul company is doing the work using AEI’s modification kit. 

AEI is the only conversion company to have authority from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate a converted 737-800 for up to three hours from the nearest airport that could be used in case of an emergency, which typically applies to routes over large bodies of water. That authority extends to every country that approves AEI’s supplemental certificate for operating its modified aircraft, including the European Union, China, the U.K., Canada the Cayman Islands 

Air cargo operators and leasing companies are rushing to acquire aircraft and convert them because of strong forecasts for continued growth in air cargo volumes. AEI has a two-year waiting list for production slots, with 66 firm orders for the 737-800 alone. 

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch. 

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Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government coverage and news analysis, and was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. Eric is based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached for comments and tips at ekulisch@freightwaves.com

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